A Gap Year in the UK

Why go backpacking in the UK?

Backpacking the United Kingdom is often overlooked because, well, it’s home for a lot of you. Still, there’s plenty on your doorstep you shouldn’t miss before heading off to the likes of France, Spain, and Germany in mainland Europe. If you’re coming from overseas, the UK is packed with unforgettable experiences.

The United Kingdom is a country filled with busy cities the likes of London, Edinburgh, and Manchester, the picturesque mountains and valleys of Wales, the lochs of Scotland, and the lush countryside and bar crawls of Northern Ireland. There’s so much to do while backpacking in the UK that you’ll be thankful everything is just a short distance away.

Things to do in the United Kingdom

Check out our current top picks


Europe Tour with Gapforce

from £1,500

14 - 28 days

Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, N...

Don’t travel alone, join our fun group every June and July to explore Europe with our UK leader.

Combined TEFL Course London

from £1,283

8 days

United Kingdom

Join our 8-day combined TEFL course in London and become a TEFL/TESOL certified teacher of English as a foreign language.

In-Class TEFL Course in London

from £1,424

20 days

United Kingdom

Join our 4-week TEFL in-class course in London and become a TEFL/TESOL certified teacher of English as a foreign language.

New Years Hogmanay Party Express

from £190

1 days

United Kingdom

Hogmanay is Scottish word for the last day of the year, and we’re here to celebrate on Stoke’s 24/hr New...

Oktoberfest Party Train from London

from £450

3 days

Germany, United Kingdom

Spend time downing steins of beer, singing on table tops and befriending old German men!  Stoke's Oktoberfest Party Train will...

Adventures in London, Paris & Italy

from £21000

7 - 84 days

France, Italy, United Kingdom

Join us for this great European adventure; 2 weeks in London, 1 week in Paris, 1 week in South of...

London NGO Internship

from £1499

28 days

United Kingdom

Experience life living and working in this world famous city, whilst furthering your own career through our varied and in-depth...

European Trail

from £2974.15

Latest advice and inspiration for the United Kingdom

Check out what our writers have been up to in the United Kingdom


The cities

Laahndon! *Ahem* Excuse me. London. Yes, quite. One of the finest cities in the world, packed with world famous attractions like Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral, and a whole host more. There’s world-class shopping in Oxford Street and Covent Garden, the quirky markets at Camden and Spitalfields, and restaurants for all tastes wherever you go. This magnificent city should be on any gap year itinerary ever written.

But there are so many other cities worth making time for! Oxford, Cambridge, and York are beautiful historical cities to wander around, Bath is just ludicrously beautiful, and if you’re up for a journey north Edinburgh is just waiting to take your breath away (by filling your mouth with whisky and haggis). The only downside is that cities can hurt the wallet.

The scenery

Welcome to England’s green and pleasant land! It’s green. And pleasant. You can go into the countryside almost anywhere for rolling hills and rabbit-dotted meadows, but most impressive is the Lake District, packed with dramatic visas and epic hiking trails. You could also visit the expansive Yorkshire Dales, or climb the beginner-sized mountains of Snowdon in Wales or Ben Nevis in Scotland.

The UK also has miles of stunning coastline, from the sunny and technicolour Cornish coast to the rugged cliffs of John O’Groats, and the alien landscape-like sight of the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.

You also shouldn’t miss the Unesco World Heritage site of Stone Henge, in Wiltshire. Believed to have been built from 2000 BC to 3000 BC, this circle of standing stones has become an archaeological wonder and is definitely worth a visit if you’re into your history.

It might not seem like a typical backpacker destination, but the UK quickly proves itself a must-see destination.

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